Pages Navigation Menu

NL Central Preview

NL Central Preview

Hi, my name is Zack. I started a blog two years ago covering the St. Louis Cardinals, you can check that out at on AFR Sports I will be covering the NL Central as a whole. I’m excited to expand my horizons to other teams and to be able to cover a very exciting division. Now on to baseball…

2013 NL Central Preview and Predictions

            The NL Central has been on the rise over the last couple of years. Most of that can be credited to the Pirates who have climbed from doormat of the division to a possible playoff contender. With a very bad Houston Astros team out of the division, the division will be one of the most competitive in baseball. Certainly, the overwhelming majority is predicting the Reds or the Cardinals to win the division, but the Brewers and Pirates should put up a fight. The Cubs will probably not contend for a playoff spot but they could as soon as next year. This is what I think will happen in the Central  in order.


Cincinnati Reds:

The Reds are coming off a division title in 2012, winning 97 games. Their playoff stay was short, but they should be in for another good season in 2013. There’s really not too many gaps in their roster at all. Moving Aroldis Chapman, who was a dominant closer last year, to the starting rotation is a risky move (ED.NOTE – just ask Joba Chamberlain). Chapman has said himself that he prefers closing, but with that much talent he shouldn’t have too much trouble. Their roster is nearly the exact same as 2012 with the exception of Shin-Soo Choo who should help their offense even more.

PREDICTION: I think they finish first, with a record of 92-70

St. Louis Cardinals:

The Cardinals are always in the running for a division title and 2013 will be no different. The loss of Chris Carpenter for the season will hurt the rotation, but behind the young arms of Joe Kelly and Shelby Miller they should be fine. Their lineup is arguably the best in baseball, but a lack of talented depth at shortstop could come back and bite them. I think they’ll finish second, but make it to the postseason as a Wild Card.

PREDICTION: They come in second, but make the postseason as a Wild Card.  Final record, 89-73

Pittsburgh Pirates:

The Pirates have been on the rise for the last couple of years and they should continue rising in 2013. Their rotation is very good, better than they get credit for. It should have a nice season behind James McDonald, A.J. Burnett, and Wandy Rodriguez. Andrew McCutchen will look to continue his climb to one of the best players in baseball.

PREDICTION: The Pirates get their first winning season but finish third going 82-80

Milwaukee Brewers:

The Brewers are a team often overlooked. I think they could surprise people and make a run at a playoff spot. They certainly have their fair-share of problems, but with Corey Hart and Ryan Braun in the lineup you can’t count them out.

PREDICTION:  I have them finishing fourth at an even 81-81


Chicago Cubs:

Those fans at Wrigley deserve to see some playoff baseball, but I don’t think that will happen this year. The Cubs are definitely moving in the right direction. They have some talent with Starlin Castro and Anthony Rizzo. The Cubs will undoubtedly look to get out from under the contract of Alfonso Soriano via trade. Prospects such as Jorge Soler and Javier Baez provide hope for the future.

PREDICTION:The Cubs bring up the rear at 70-92


To Contact Zack, or any AFRSports contributor, please E-Mail:

Follow us on Twitter @AFR_Sports

Zack is 16 and lives right across the Mississippi River from St. Louis. When he was two, his parents took him to his first Cardinal game in which he got to see Mark McGwire go deep. He was only two so he doesn’t remember too much about that night, but he presumes that’s what started his love affair with baseball.